Archive for July 12th, 2009

New Ages

One age of history does not progress from today’s headlines to The Future.

The overwhelming force in the headlines is inertia. It is inertia from the last great explosion that made the news commentary of the last period of history pointless.

Let’s get specific. The 1920s were a reaction to the enormous movements just before. World War I had destroyed much of the Old Order that had existed since the monarchies of Europe defeated France in 1914. A revolutionary reaction to liquor had gotten a national ban on alcohol. Communism, due to that same war, was on the march leading to what is now called the Red Scare everywhere.

By 1920, everybody was TIRED. It was summed up in the words, “Return to Normalcy.”

Prohibition was here to stay. The policy of war between nations was outlawed. Anti-Communism was national policy. Harding and then Coolidge were elected to get us back to normal in the New Age.

In this New Age there was a Republicans Ascendancy so complete that the Democratic candidate in 1924 was simply ignored.

The New Age lasted exactly one decade. All of the old certainties collapsed in the world wide Depression. Economics was the issue on all minds, trying to get out of that collapse. The New Age of Democratic Ascendancy in America and radical politics abroad had arrived.

Political commentary in the New Age of the 1930s dealt with economic theory and the rising Industrial Class. Each country had its own unique conditions, its own fascist and Communist movements or, in the case of the US and Britain, the lack of them. That was political commentary in the New Age of the 1930s.

That New Age again lasted ten years. World War II blew it away. Everything became the New Order of the post-War.

I could go on, but this is the easiest period for everyone to see each New Age come and go.

In each New Age, or inertial period, practical people are impatient with anyone who does not understand the Inevitable Future. Political Commentators consider themselves and are considered by their readers to be talking about Reality, things as they really ARE. If you are an old magazine fan as I am, these Practical Men look silly.